Yelp Adds Restaurant Reservations as New Search Option

A new offering from Yelp allows users to search and filter restaurant results by available reservations and local delivery options. But with the latter only available on desktop, will Yelp suffer once Google updates its algorithm to favor mobile-friendly sites on Tuesday?

Yelp Now, which launched earlier today, has date, time, party size, and type of cuisine as search filters. The restaurants available are those that use Yelp’s SeatMe and Reservations. For takeout, the enhancement also searches eateries that deliver at specific times, using EatStreet, ChowNow, delivery.com, and Yelp-owned Eat24.

yelp-reservations

Though the feature is currently only available for restaurants in select cities, Yelp plans to roll it out to include spas and hotels, as well as services like plumbers and dentists. Yelp Now is compatible with desktop and iOS, though the food ordering option has not yet been rolled out for mobile.

With Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update taking place on April 21, some industry participants are skeptikal about the move.

“Google is going to be negatively impacting any sites that aren’t utilized for mobile so [Yelp] is not going to have the [ranking] benefit they’re hoping for,” says Guy Marion, chief marketing officer at Autopilot, a multi-channel marketing software platform.

However, Marion still thinks the reservations filter can help Yelp’s ranking.

“It does increase click rates for people searching for a specific restaurant; people are finding exactly what they’re looking for at the right time so I do expect it will increase the relevancy in rankings a little,” Marion says. “Yelp is under pressure from Google, Apple and even Amazon so they need to keep pushing out changes like this to increase relevancy.”

*Update: The story has been updated to mention Google’s upcoming algorithm change.

 

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